Toca Madera’s casual Westside eatery, Taiwanese street food, and doughnuts in Spring Street Arcade
Here now, Eater LA compiles some of the more notable openings scattered throughout Los Angeles. Every week we’ll be tackling new places to check out in various neighborhoods. Any new spots that we might’ve missed? Hit the tipline.
April 20, 2016:
Venice— Toca Madera has become quite the hip spot for Mexican-inspired fare in West Hollywood. Now its little sister restaurant, Tocaya Organica, has opened in Venice. Touting organic Mexican cuisine with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, it should be a welcome addition to the neighborhood for a casual meal of burritos and bowls.
Downtown— There can never be enough doughnut shops in LA, and now Downtown officer workers have another nice-looking option to call their own, the aptly named Downtown Donuts right in the Spring Street Arcade. The straightforward menu includes doughnuts that range from $1.24 to $2.99, with plenty of coffee and milk to wash it down.
Alhambra— Craving Mexican classics? Spanglish Kitchen has opened on N Atlantic Blvd in Alhambra hawking standard Mexican-American fare. That means lots of tacos, burritos, tortas, and enchiladas to go around.
Beverly Grove— Taking over the former Cafe Sushi space on Beverly is M CON, bringing Taiwanese and Asian-inspired fare to the masses. Think housemade scallion bun sandwiches, night market favorites like turnip cake fries and grilled corn on the cob, and an assortment of salads and bowls.
Huntington Park— Looking for a new neighborhood bar? Novocane Sports Bar & Grill has chill Frank Ocean-inspired vibes and a slew of bespoke cocktails.
April 13, 2016:
East LA— Having you been missing great Mexican seafood fare ever since El Cristalazo shuttered out in La Puente? Well now East LA has a newcomer to call its own, Langosta Ranchera. Expect plenty of shrimp cocteles, tacos, and aguachiles, and, of course, micheladas to wash it all down.
Roaming— There’s a new food truck hitting the streets of Los Angeles, the Cali Fresh Truck. Here Colombian street food is the name of the game, hawking arepas, fried plantain tostadas, and empanadas. Find it here.
El Segundo— Apparently El Segundo has been in dire need of a pho specialist, and now that Pho Dreams has set up shop on Main Street, the little shop is packed with diners waiting for Vietnamese cuisine. Early Yelp reviews seem mixed, with complaints of service issues, but relatively positive thoughts on the fare.
El Sereno— LA has another quaint little coffee shop to its name: Cafecito. The adorable cafe feels like a friend’s backyard, with all the cafe de olla and little snacks like empanadas, tortas, and churros to keep you fueled throughout the day.
Monterey Park— Another day, another CoCo Fresh opening. This time it’s in Monterey Park, satiating thirsty locals with boba and milk tea.
April 6, 2016:
Culver City— Brooklyn’s very own Van Leeuwen creamery has opened its third Los Angeles location right on Washington Boulevard in Culver City. There’s plenty of organic dairy scoops and vegan options that will certainly be welcome as the summer months roll around.
Koreatown— Not feeling Korean food when you’re in the heart of K-Town? Thankfully Tarboosh has opened its doors, slinging kebabs, hummus, and the requisite garlic sauce to go with it.
Downtown— The office worker crowd has a new lunch option when the need for heartier sustenance hits. Bazaar Pizza has opened on Main and 7th with a slew of sub $10 lunch specials and chicken wings to boot.
Koreatown— Ready to get your meat sweats on? Il Cha Korean BBQ is the newest AYCE KBBQ specialist that also offers a buffet full of banchan and seafood. With sushi, live lobsters, and the classic meats, there is something for everyone.
West Hollywood— Head to Havenhurt and Santa Monica Boulevard to find The Black Bicycle Cafe, WeHo’s newest coffee shop with pastries and small plates that, in a surprise to no one at all, include avocado toast.
March 30, 2016:
Downtown— Birdies LA, a new concept in South Park, is specializing in some of the best things in life: fried chicken and doughnuts. Think fried chicken sandwiches with ghost pepper mayo, breakfast sandwiches, and maple bacon doughnuts.
Santa Monica— The Westside has a new healthy cafe to call its own in Bondi Harvest, a breakfast and lunch affair with plenty of grain bowls, salads, and sandwiches to go around.
Studio City—Santa Monica isn’t the only city with a new healthy eatery. Big Earth Cafe has landed on Lankershim Blvd in Studio City slinging gluten-free bread and plenty of paleo and vegetarian options.
Hollywood— Another addition to the Hollywood restaurant boom is Cre8 Crepes, a build-your-own crepe concept right on Hollywood Boulevard. Pick a crepe flavor, add fresh fruit and toppings, and finish it off with a scoop of ice cream.
Pico-Union— There’s a new Brazilian restaurant in town thanks to Squarefritz, a restaurant on Olympic that offers hot dogs and sweet and savory pastels, or filled fried dough.
Burbank— Not a Burger Stand has resurrected itself as Pub Nowhere in Burbank. Expect things like pulled pork sandwiches, crab cakes, chocolate lasagna, and plenty of beer to wash it down.
Monterey Park— Pieology, the build-your-own pizza concept like Blaze and 800 Degrees, is quickly on its way to taking over Southern California. The newest location is in Monterey Park opened its doors this week promising freshly made pizzas in under five minutes.
March 25, 2016:
Venice— There’s a new ramen retailer in town, offering the usual assortment of options. At the aptly named Venice Ramen, the noodles are made in-house, with plenty of tonkotsu and chasu pork to go around.
Glendale— Tenmimi restaurant brings the Chinese food you were probably raised on to Honolulu Ave in Glendale. That means sub $10 specials with egg rolls, wontons, and dishes like chop suey, sweet & sour chicken, and Mongolian beef.
Watts— LocoL isn’t the only restaurant bringing healthy food to Watts. The Hamwich Shack is offering GMO, steroid, antibiotic, and hormone-free meats in their sandwiches, plus “Watts Spa Water” in lieu of sodas. Burgers and sandwiches are all under eight bucks.
Redondo Beach— When will shabu shabu start trending in LA? The South Bay gets another hot pot specialist in I Shabu Shabu with nicely presented veggies and meats in sleek digs.
Hermosa Beach— Another entrant to the booming South Bay restaurant scene is Baran’s 2239. With a nice menu of international small plates and an extensive selection of craft beers, it should be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
March 18, 2016:
South Bay— Harajuku Crepe brings a popular dessert option to Tokyo Central & Main Food Court in Gardena. Early reports are very positive, though on wonders if the trend will move upward to LA proper.
Glendale— AJ Noodles brings a pan-Asian approach to noodles, with everything from ramen to pho to kimchi dumplings. Hey, sometimes you just can’t choose between Japan and Vietnam, though one suspects the owner is Korean given the open approach to cuisine.
San Gabriel Valley— Long Xing Ji is the former Wang Xing Ji, offering much of the same menu as the popular soup dumpling specialist (don’t worry, those massive juicy dumplings are back). So basically, it was a simple name change, but sometimes a fresh coat of paint can do wonders.
La Crescenta— Our Story Cafe is a cute little new cafe in Montrose/La Crescenta along Honolulu. The place offers everything from whimsical teas and coffee drinks to pesto sandwiches and fries. Exactly the kind of stuff nearby students want after school.
Tarzana— The tiki trend is percolating to the rest of the Valley, with a trendy new spot called Poke Tiki opening along Ventura Blvd. It’s more of the built-a-bowl format using fresh fish and reasonable prices.
Van Nuys— Little Ocha Extra, a branch of the uber-popular Chinese Thai barbecue spots, has opened a new mini branch in the Valley. Expect the same stir fried comfort favorites you’d find at other Ocha locales.
March 11, 2016:
Koreatown— SHABUYA, a haven for Japanese shabu shabu lovers, has taken over the former Taho Galbi spot in K-Town. The AYCE hot spot specialist is $17 for lunch and $26 for dinner, and comes with buffet-style vegetables and accouterments and unlimited orders of meat.
Highland Park— Are there ever enough taco joints in Los Angeles? TacoFix doesn’t seem to think so, as the retailer of Mexican fare just set up shop in Highland Park. Dishes like Priscilla’s Insane Nachos with fried plantains and sausage keep things interesting.
Roaming—It isn’t often that we hear about new food trucks anymore. Breaking the mold is Zema, a Carribean and Venezuelan food truck hawking a slew of arepas and cheese fingers. Check its Instagram for locations.
Westwood— Another day, another poke restaurant. This time it’s Poke Me, yet another build-your-own poke bowl retailer that is a little more reasonably priced that others.
Koreatown— Taking over the former Korean Chicken House location is Kitchen Sooda, a Louisiana-style seafood restaurant competing against the likes of Boiling Crab. An extended happy hour without the lines of its rival seem to make it worth a visit.
Little Tokyo— Love red bean-filled Asian treats? Newcomer Deli Taiyaki is for you, offering cute fish-shaped desserts that comes filled with options like red bean, custard, sweet potato, and apple mango.
Highland Park— Quaint newcomer Carlie’s Cafe has taken over the former Mariscos Sinaloa location on York. Think all-day eatery items that range from breakfast burritos to tacos and burgers.
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